By Michelle Lyles
The 2017-2018 Stroudsburg school board election occurs on Nov. 7 and A Clean Slate is looking for help.
A Clean Slate campaign team consists of two of ESU’s own members, Professor Cem Zeytinoglu and a student representative Alex Reincke. Also on the Clean Slate team is Tameko Patterson and James Burke.
Zeytinoglu says, “The mission of the Clean Slate is to ensure that students receive a quality education, teachers are respected and taxpayers aren’t left holding the short end of the stick.
”A Clean Slate is working hard in our community to help do a “clean sweep” of the current issues that are happening in the public schools in this area.
According to Zeytinoglu, “The most urgent issue right now is the lack of dialogue and lack of civility in communication between the stakeholders in the school district,“ he continued, “we need a new approach and a friendly attitude to facilitate dialogue with respect, flexibility and transparency.”
Zeytinoglu had a lot to say about some of the big issues going on in the Stroudsburg School District. One of the many goals for the Clean Slate is to open up communication and trust between officials and the community.
He goes on to explain how all of the team members not only have years of experience in the education field, but also how all of the members have witnessed the Stroudsburg school district first hand. Whether it was their own children who are in the district or current ESU student Alex Reincke, who went to school in the district.
One of the issues Zeytinoglu listed were in regards to a huge financial slump in the district which showed, “Our district only gets 20 percent or less of its support from the state.”
He went on to explain, “Taxpayers feel the burden and fear that they cannot afford for quality programs and teachers in their communities.”
On top of this 20 percent Zeytinoglu also mentioned, “The incumbents are part of the problem, and they have a specific agenda to gradually defund the K-12 education in our district and eradicate the quality that made the Stroudsburg schools “the pride of the Poconos.” “
A Clean Slate is looking for help from the community to help support them this election year. Dana Coppola, a junior at ESU, signed up to help Zeytinoglu run the social media pages for the team.
Coppola was incredibly excited to extend a helping a hand to the team and says, “When Cem first brought up in a PRSSA club meeting that he was looking for students to run social media accounts for his campaign, I immediately wanted to be a part of it.
Coppola explains the importance of voting by saying, ͞Sometimes the biggest changes start on a small scale and local elections is a perfect place to start, she continues, being informed and aware of what is going on in not only your country but your own neighborhood is extremely important to being an active member of society.
A Clean Slate has Coppola’s vote.
When asked about why she was voting for Clean Slate and even offered to help out she said, “I support it because the team is so diverse I think they each have something special and fresh to bring to the Stroudsburg area school district.”
She also says, “͞Having two candidates being a teacher and professor, a student from East Stroudsburg University, and a Certified Project Manager on the Clean Slate team creates a diverse and refreshing dynamic.”
Public education is incredibly important. It is how the future is shaped.
Preparing high school students for their future is something that cannot be taken for granted, and A Clean Slate is working very hard trying to promote themselves, so the community will go out and vote on Nov. 7.
A Clean Slate wants to get the message across that they are a group of community members that are not only incredibly experienced, but also 100 percent for securing the future of students. Zeytinoglu’s top priority is the needs of the students.
A Clean Slate recognizes that the district has been putting students on the back burner, and they are fighting to ensure that is no longer a recurring issue.
Zeytinoglu is asking for our help in promoting the team’s efforts. He concludes the interview by listing the three things that can help him: voting on Nov. 7, getting everyone you know involved, and the especially needing volunteers.
When it comes to campaigning and promoting, Zeytinoglu and Coppola both mention that there are social media pages up and heavily active for students to follow and show support.
They have a Facebook page, A Clean Slate for Stroudsburg School Board, a Twitter page; @cleanslatesasd and even an Instagram page; @cleanslatesasd.
If anyone is interested in getting involved in the campaign efforts you can email Zeytinoglu at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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